Hollande: French troops deployed in CAR “to avoid carnage”

Hollande: French troops deployed in CAR “to avoid carnage”

PanARMENIAN.Net - President Francois Hollande has defended France's military intervention in the Central African Republic - after two French soldiers were killed in the capital Bangui, BBC News reported.

Speaking in Bangui, he said last week's deployment of 1,600 troops had been necessary to "avoid carnage".

The two French soldiers were killed in combat near Bangui airport.

The CAR has been in chaos since rebel leader Michel Djotodia ousted President Francois Bozize in March.

Fuelled by ethnic rivalries, the conflict has also now become sectarian in nature as he installed himself as the first Muslim leader in the Christian-majority country sparking months of bloody clashes between rival Muslim and Christian fighters.

Extra French troops were sent into the CAR last Friday, Dec 6 after the UN Security Council backed a mandate to restore order "by all necessary measures".

The UN resolution followed a surge of violence involving Christian self-defence militias that had sprung up after a series of attacks by mainly Muslim fighters from the former rebel coalition.

The Red Cross said 394 people were killed in three days of fighting in Bangui. Many of the victims are believed to have been children.

The French army said it had restored some stability in the capital by Monday night. Following a request from France, the US announced on Monday it would help fly African Union peacekeeping troops into the CAR.

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